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SOIL Sangre de Cristo investor members have voted to award $21,000 in zero-percent interest loans to four entities in our region during their March annual meeting. Loans were awarded to Elements Mountain Compost, Fungus Among Us, Rocky Mountain Garlic, and Elevations Farm & Orchard.

Fungus Among Us grows a variety of mushrooms. Pictured here; oyster mushrooms. Courtesy photo.

Fungus Among Us Medicinals LLC (FAUM)

Fungus Among Us Medicinals is an off-grid gourmet and medicinal mushroom company located in Westcliffe servicing Fremont, Chaffee, and Custer counties.

FAUM specializes in the cultivation of gourmet and medicinal mushrooms sold directly to consumers at farmers markets and local restaurants. Medicinal tinctures and supplements are also made.

Elements Mountain Compost (EMC)

Elements Mountain Compost, started in 2015, provides organic waste disposal and soil amendment products to Chaffee County and the surrounding region.

EMC collects over 230 tons of food scraps, compostable items (napkins, compostable containers), and yard waste from businesses and residents in Salida, Poncha Springs and Buena Vista. EMC has presented to the Chaffee Board of County commissioners as an organic option for environmentally-responsible disposal.

Rocky Mountain Garlic (RMG)

The harvest at Rocky Mountain Garlic is plentiful. Courtesy photo.

Rocky Mountain Garlic has been growing garlic in Salida since 2017.

Mike and Tiffany Collette believe in healthy food and know that comes from healthy soil. They started out small, building seed stock with a few hundred heads, growing now to 14,000 bulbs in production.

In 2020-2021 RMG collaborated with another farm in Chaffee County to expand market offerings to include other root crops,(beets, carrots, potato, turnips, radish, and onion) along with a few perennials (sorrel, rhubarb, herbs; parsley, mint, oregano). Also in 2020 RMG obtained Certified Naturally Grown status; the grassroots alternative to certified organic – no pesticides, herbicides, or chemical fertilizers.


Elevation Farm & Orchard

Located in Alamosa, Elevation Farm & Orchard is planning to use their loan to purchase and set up a vertical growing system. This includes shelving, lights, fans, trays, a water system, soil, and seed.

Unlike many vertical grow systems, their system will be based in living soil, not hydro or aquaponics. Some of the products they grow are peas, salad and other greens, rhubarb, herbs, pork, and eggs using regenerative farming methods.

Food scraps are ingredients in Elements Mountain Composting organic waste systems. Courtesy photo.

SOIL Sangre de Cristo, a local nonprofit, allows community members to invest in the common good, to support the health of our environment, and have delicious high quality food available as the end result. SOIL Sangre de Cristo awards zero-percent interest loans to local food producers by pooling investor money and awarding loans each year.

SOIL stands for “Slow Opportunities for Investing Locally. Click on for more information. Residents and businesses of the region are invited to become an Investor Member of SOIL Sangre de Cristo. Help build the revolving loan fund for the next round of loans to our local food producers! Contact for more information

The next round of loan awards will be in March 2023, with applications accepted starting December 1, 2022.

Featured image: The Vigil family runs Elevation Farm & Orchard, a 21st-century family farm. Courtesy photo.

Logo Courtesy SOIL Sangre de Cristo